The Multilingual Household in a European Perspective: London, British Library MS Harley 2253 and the Traffic of Texts

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Title
The Multilingual Household in a European Perspective: London, British Library MS Harley 2253 and the Traffic of Texts
Title of the book
Household Knowledges in Late Medieval England and France
Author(s)
Critten Rory G.
Publisher
Manchester University Press
Publication state
Published
Issued date
2019
Pages
219-43
Language
english
Abstract
To date, scholarship on Harley 2253 has sought to determine how this fourteenth-century book might have served the interests and priorities of a small group of West Midlands families with which its scribe can be identified. While acknowledging the usefulness of this context for understandings of the manuscript, I argue that Harley 2253 also demonstrates the connections pertaining between such insular audiences and a pan-European network of textual transmission. This chapter explores the relative connotations of Latin, French, and English across the texts compiled in Harley 2253 and demonstrates that the shifting associations of French in particular both enabled and inflected the cross-Channel traffic of texts. Most importantly, I shows that native English facility in French and Latin meant that the main scribe of Harley 2253 and his readers could conceive of themselves not only as passive recipients of texts from beyond England but also as active participants in the transfer of texts into and throughout the Continent.
Create date
10/02/2019 13:32
Last modification date
05/11/2020 7:09
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